Levelling the Hero Part Two: Re-imagining Anima

"Muse,
When, in the night, I wait for her, impatient,
Life seems to me, as hanging by a thread.
What just means liberty, or youth, or approbation,
When compared with the gentle piper’s tread?
And she came in, threw out the mantle’s edges,
Declined to me with a sincere heed.
I say to her, “Did you dictate the Pages Of Hell to Dante?”
She answers, “Yes, I did."
  — Anna Akhmatova 1924

In part one of ‘Levelling the Hero’ we considered the vivid, creative, spiritual streams, flowing into and out of the hub of early twentieth century Zurich, birthplace of Analytical (Jungian) Psychology. Imagination and the creative arts were at the centre of this birth just as they are at the centre of Analytical Psychology. This was absolutely confirmed by the publication of ‘The Red Book’ in 2009, the end result of Jung’s engagement in ‘active imagination’ and the foundation for his later concepts. We looked at the work of some relatively unknown women artists working with similar and related ideas whose genius and creative vision gave form to numinous material moving into consciousness from the deepest levels of psyche.
Ceramic by Melinda Monks

  Ceramic by Melinda MonksIn part two we will consider the contribution and position of women who worked closely with Jung on the project of analytical psychology. We will explore and perhaps challenge the ideas that coalesced around ‘Anima’ and that of woman as ‘Muse.’ The poem (above) by Anna Akhmatova written in 1924 suggests that the female ‘Muse’ is a guiding figure for creative women too. My work confirms this… so, what does this imply for Jungian concepts about the contra-sexual image and it’s relationship with the unconscious? Hopefully we shall have another good discussion.

Marie Makinson is a former president of the CG Jung Society of Queensland. She believes that Analytical Psychology offers a unique approach to understanding the nature of the psyche and developing a conscious relationship to it. The work of Analytical Psychology is carried out with patience and humility, building a sacred space in which the psyche can communicate through the language of symbols. The role of the ego in the work is is that of holding an attitude of curious, caring awareness. The processes of analytical psychology illuminate our individual human gifts and enhances our potential for shaping our collective future.

Marie is a senior Jungian Analyst trained in London with GAP and a member of ANZSJA and IAAP. She works as an Analyst and Jungian Sandplay Therapist in private practice in Red Hill in Brisbane.

Dancing In The Flames

"Powerful and insightful, this documentary provides a close up look at the life of renowned Jungian Analyst and author, Marion Woodman. With honesty and her trademark wit, Woodman shares the mysteries of her own soul’s journey and reveals a series of psychological “deaths” and “Rebirths” that made her one of the wisest and most authentic women of the twentieth century. Featuring stunning animation from Academy Award winning artist, Faith Hubley, and dialogue and insight from author and mystic, Andrew Harvey. Marion weaves her inner and outer lives together and transmits the core truth of what it is to be human.

This is no ordinary film, but a rare, powerful, and moving story about the dramatic evolution of an individual soul beautifully captured on film. Yet the deeper story is not about one individual alone. What makes this timely film so compelling is the underlying archetypal message about living, dying, and transformation, a challenge we all need to confront in the new millennium."
  — Polly Armstrong, The Journal of the C.G.Jung Foundation

Marion Woodman who died in 2018, was a most beloved Jungian Analyst, writer and mythopoetic voice for her generation. She brought the ‘Dark Feminine’ into consciousness and helped many people who were trapped irrevocably in addictive behaviours and body-denying lives. She made her work out of acknowledging the need to own our bodies intimately, within the psychological lives we live.

“As consciousness develops, the body will act as a donkey for only so long,” (Ms. Woodman wrote in one of her books.) “Men as much as women need to know that their soul is grounded in their own loving matter: ‘This is who I am. Every cell in my body tells me this is of value to me – not to my persona, to me.’”

Her own illness (cancer) moved her out of her own conventional pathway and into an exploration of her inner life.

“We each are thrown into our own fire and the room in the Ashoka Hotel [India] was mine. There was no one to phone, no one to visit, nothing to do. All escapes were cut off. I had to move into my own silence and find out who was in there.”

She also embraced the greater realities of our collective lives today…

“But I also believe that there is a new global culture being called for—and that means that every country is going to have to surrender its selfish nationalism and open up to a global community. The earth has moved from tribe to group to country – and now even these systems are too small. We are moving towards global community, and in the process narrow [nationalistic] loyalties will have to be surrendered to the larger whole”

Her work was and continues to be an unfolding of some of the richest within the field of Jungian studies.

There will be a short panel discussion following the film if time permits.